The World Affairs Council’s annual Model United Nations took place at the University of Hartford on December 1st and 2nd. 1,000 students from over 30 Connecticut high schools participated. They debated critical international security topics. What a great event it was! The staff here at CTWAC certainly enjoyed seeing all of the students engage each other in debate and learn to work together to create compromises.
The Council has hosted the Model U.N. for over 60 years and thousands of Connecticut students have participated. This year, 1,000 high school students from over 30 schools represented 57 different countries, debating topics including cyber security, nuclear deterrence, and border walls. This year, the conference theme was “Security in a Shifting World”.
The committees were:
Committee I: Disarmament and International Security
Chair: Tyler Peruta
Moderators: Gabby Pavlakis, Emma Luxemburg
Passed Resolution: Committee I dealt with nuclear disarmament. The member nations discussed and debated, eventually passing a resolution with provisions for nuclear non-proliferation. Resolutions and actions included discouraging the sale of fissionable materials to extremist groups, encouraging member nations to find new uses for retired fissionable materials and nuclear warheads, and asking that UN member nations work to dismantle any missile systems that they had in place.
Committee II: Economic and Financial
Chair: Mason Stabile
Moderators: Ohm Patel, Dara Hechter
Passed Resolution: This committee had to deal with the issue of the financing of terrorism. The extremist activities of terrorist organizations are being funded through disguised means. As a result, this committee proposed adding new members to organizations dedicated to eradicating terrorism and that members monitor and address possible terrorist financing within their own borders. They also addressed the importance of oil fields in funding terrorist groups and proposed working to protect oil assets and use military force to remove terrorists from oil fields.
Committee III: Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural
Chair: Evan Mingo
Moderators: Will Robinson, Saomai Nguyen
Passed Resolution: The resolution passed by this committee addressed the distribution of the refugee crisis. The resolution requested aid and support from member nations, including increased aid from more developed and affluent, developed nations, as well as encouraging the governments of member nations to work at the state and national level to provide resources and asylum to displaced refugees. The resolution urged nations to create job and education initaitives to help support the refugees.
Committee IV: United Nations Environmental Progra
Chair: Julia Shufro
Moderators: Sydney Bascom
Passed Resolution: The UNEP passed a resolution that worked to address the issue of overfishing in the South China Sea. Many solutions were proposed in the resolution, including implementing a small fine for each pound of by-catch caught and killed, as well as economic incentives for countries to invest in more sustainable fishing practices such as farm fishing programs.
Committee V: Special Committee on Cyber Crime
Chair: President Abishek Malani
Moderators: Daisy Li, Connor Jordan
Passed Resolution: The committee was tasked with creating a Digital Geneva Convention to help regulate cybercrime and cyberwarfare internationally. Many proposals were included to help eliminate cybercrime, including the possibility of sanctions against nations that use technology to violate international law, as well as establishing databases to keep track of cybercriminals and cyberterrorists. The resolution also contained language to create cybercrime task forces and an international cybercrime court, amongst other provisions.
Committee VI: UNICEF
Chair: Leslie Hisman
Moderators: Julianna Mendoza, Paige Sciallis
Passed Resolution: The committee for UNICEF dealt with the crisis of the right to education, and that poverty and a lack of education are directly related. The resolution included proposals for increasing the access to education for women through sanctions on those countries that did not comply and increased funding to those countries that comply. Additionally, the committee set forth proposals to have countries with higher levels of financial resources and education levels to provide support to underdeveloped countries.
Committee VII: IMO
Chair: Annika Little
Moderators: Samarth Menta, Jacob Beaudin
This committe addressed the viability of walls as borders to allow countries to protect their sovereign lands. The proposals for resolution included actions to improve border security, evaluate the security of certain borders, and deal with the financial obstacles related to border control.
Committee VIII: WHO
Chair: Noah Lisle
Moderators: Lindsay Vacca, Neha Jonnakota
Passed Resolution: The WHO addressed the issue of equal access to lifesaving treatment. Included in the resolution were actions such as increasing education amongst rural communities about sanitation and training local medical officials, inviting communities to reform their medical practices and uphold new, higher standards in their medical communities, as well as pursuing international adoption of the Medicines Transparency Alliance from Peru, which is aimed at increasing good governance and accountability in the medication market.
Committee IX: Security Council
Chair: Vice President Ashley Young
Passed Resolution: The Security Council had to respond with a resolution after North Korea committed a nuclear attack on Japan. The proposed actions included placing missile defense systems in countries that are within range of North Korean hostilities, as well as providing aid and support for the victims of the nuclear attack. The resolution also called for the severing of economic ties with the rogue North Korean state.
“I’m proud to say that now I am a more globally aware and active citizen.” – Model UN student delegate
“It’s definitely helped me with my confidence. I feel that I can talk to other people and not feel shy about what I have to say.” – Model UN student delegate
MUN President Abhishek Malani closed out the conference with an inspiring speech:
“Have empathy, understand the other side, and let’s change the world.” – President Abhishek Malani
See the full video of his speech here.
All in all, it was an excellent weekend. The students worked hard, debating timely, global issues. It was a privilege to see our future global leaders in action. We hope that all the students enjoyed it as much as we did!
Thank you to all of our sponsors. Thank you to SBM Charitable Foundation, Barnes Group Inc, Susan and Peter G. Kelly, Esq., and the Trinity College Center for Urban and Global Studies. Thank you to our host, University of Hartford. Special thanks to the Spier Family Fund. Your support made this event the success it was. Thank you!